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Uttoxeter armed raid suspects get crown court date

Ash Close

Ash Close

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TWO Uttoxeter men arrested on suspicion of carrying out two armed raids are set to be tried at crown court.

Grove House Post Office, in Alton, was targeted at 6.20pm on June 10 and, 20 minutes later, crooks carrying a knife struck at the Co-op in Tean.

The drama then switched to a flat in Ash Close, Uttoxeter, where a lengthy stand-off involving armed officers eventually ended when three people surrendered to police custody.

A 20-year-old man from Burton was released without charge.

But Andrew Gregory, 37, of High Street, and Kane Johnson, 36, of Ash Close, are now set to appear at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on July 4.

The defendants will both answer charges of robbery, attempted robbery and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon in public.

Those living in and around the Ash Close apartments told the Advertiser a police armed response unit’s negotiations to lure the suspects out of their hideout lasted several hours.

Neighbouring roads were cordoned off to keep pedestrians safe while officers negotiated with the suspects.

Cherry Allen, who lives opposite the flats in Windsor Road, said she feared for her children’s safety.

She said: “My first thought was for my daughter who was coming home from a shift at McDonald’s, but couldn’t get down the road because it had been cordoned off.

“She was waiting there for about an hour before the police eventually escorted her down the road.

“I heard a loud bang at around 11pm and was worried it might be gunfire, then I heard that same banging 15 minutes later.

“I moved here because I thought this was a nice, quiet neighbourhood, but I’m starting to re-think that now.”

Ryan John, who lives in a flat neighbouring the Tean Co-op, in High Street, described the raids as a ‘wake-up call’.

He said: “I came back from work and my partner was in the flat cooking tea.

“As I approached my drive, I saw lots of police vehicles carrying armed police pulling up.

“We had a look out of our window and saw more and more police cars arriving, along with an ambulance.

“To see all those vehicles was pretty scary as we had no idea what was going on.”

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